October 2, 2013
Town of High River moves ahead with several projects
The Town of High River, Alberta is taking several important steps to prevent future flooding, including the dismantling of a railway bridge that spans the Highwood River and a series of construction projects.
“This bridge has been a recognizable landmark in High River for many years; however its removal is an important step in flood mitigation measures for the community,” said Emile Blokland, mayor of High River.
The Alberta government has arranged for Calgary-based Tervita to dismantle the Canadian Pacific Railway Bridge. The removal of the bridge and its footings, which starts in October, will eliminate a bottleneck in the river and increase the flowing capacity of the river.
Over the past several weeks, crews have begun removing about 600 metres of railway track leading up to the bridge.
Tervita has been working in High River since July 18 and, among other projects, has scalped about 22 Olympic-sized swimming pools of material from the town’s river system.
The dismantling of the bridge in addition to the river scalping should nearly double the flowing capacity of the Highwood in the years ahead and help protect the town from flooding.
The original High River rail bridge was built in 1892 by the Calgary and Edmonton Railway. The current refurbished bridge has not carried any rail traffic since 2010.
The Town of High River is also undertaking a series of construction projects which are part of an overall flood mitigation plan.
For example, a series of geotechnical bore holes are being completed at various locations around High River to get a better understanding of the composition of the existing dikes, as well as the underlying foundation conditions.
This information is necessary to potentially raise the dikes and construct other related infrastructure.
The Northwest Berm and the Northwest Highwood River Bank are being designed to a higher standard for a larger high water event.
The connection berm between Northwest berm and Highwood River Bank is being extended and armoring will be provided using coarse rock for strength and stability.
These projects were scheduled to begin on Sept. 13, 2013 and will be completed by December 31, 2013.
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